Monday’s Music Moves Me: March Birthdays, Part 2

It’s another Freebie day on Monday’s Music Moves Me, when we can do whatever the heck we want. I’d do that today, anyway, because it’s my birthday!

Need 62 more of these. Image by pixel2013 from Pixabay

Last week, we did March birthdays. This week, in honor of the day, I’m doing more March birthdays, starting out with a few that are celebrating brthdays with me.

  1. Anita Bryant, “Paper Roses” I get it, nobody likes Anita Bryant, but it is her 79th birthday, and I like her voice. “Paper Roses” was a #5 hit for her in 1960.
  2. Bonnie Guitar, “Dark Moon” Bonnie died this past January, so she’ll be celebrating her 96th in heaven, right next to the “Dark Moon” that she sang about in 1957. She took this to #6 on the Pop chart and #14 on the Country chart.
  3. Jeff Healey, “Roadhouse Blues” Blind most of his life due to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes, Jeff passed away in 2008 at the age of 41. He’d be celebrating his 53rd birthday. “Roadhouse Blues” is from the 1989 movie Road House starring Patrick Swayze. Jeff was in the movie and did a lot of the soundtrack.
  4. Johnny Burnette, “Rockabilly Boogie” Best known for “You’re Sixteen,” Johnny was quite the rockabilly star in his day. Johnny died in 1964, but he’d be celebrating birthday #85 today. 1957’s “Rockabilly Boogie” didn’t chart, but it was a great song nevertheless.
  5. Aretha Franklin, “I Say A Little Prayer” Today would be the First Lady of Soul’s 77th birthday had she not died last August. “I Say A Little Prayer” was the B side of “The House That Jack Built,” and reached #10 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart in 1968.
  6. Elton John, “I’m Still Standing” Ironic that we started the list of today’s birthdays with Anita Bryant and are ending it (this part of the list anyway) with Elton John, who’s 72 today. “I’m Still Standing” reached #12 on the Hot 100 in 1983 and seems oddly appropriate today.
  7. The Monkees, “Last Train To Clarksville” For many of their early hits, The Monkees were backed in the studio by LA’s famous Wrecking Crew. Carol Kaye, who has played bass and guitar on more hits than anyone can count, including “Last Train To Clarksville,” celebrated her 84th birthday yesterday. Everything I learned about playing bass guitar I learned from her.
  8. Nena, “99 Luftballons” Gabriele Susanne Kerner, also known as Nena, sang this while a member of the band named after her. She turned 59 yesterday. “99 Luftballons” was a #2 hit in the US and a #1 in most of the rest of the world, and the English translation, “99 Red Balloons,” went to #1 in the UK and Canada, all in 1983.
  9. Diana Ross, “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” The lovely Ms. Ross celebrates her 75th birthday tomorrow. This is the theme song from the 1975 film starring Diana, Billy Dee Williams, Jean-Pierre Aumont, and Anthony Perkins. It reached #1 in early 1976 and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
  10. Robert Lockwood Jr., “Sweet Home Chicago” Robert learned to play guitar from blues great Robert Johnson (and called himself “Robert Jr.” throughout his career) and he does a killer job of Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago” here. He passed in 2006, but would have been 104 this Wednesday.
  11. Reba McEntire, “Fancy” Okay, I admit it, I have a thing for Reba McEntire, who turns 64 on Thursday. Maybe it’s the red hair, maybe it’s that she covers Bobbie Gentry’s “Fancy” so well. From her 1990 album Rumor Has It, she reached #8 on the US and Canadian Country charts in 1991.
  12. Frankie Laine, “Mule Train” Francesco Paolo LoVecchio, born in the Italian neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, became Frankie Laine early in his career and had a ton of hits, such as “Mule Train,” which reached #1 for him in 1949. Frankie died in 2007, but he would be 106 on Saturday.
  13. Shirley Jones, “‘Til There Was You” Shirley was a huge star long before her days as Shirley Partridge on The Partridge Family and has one of the great voices of our time. You might remember she played Marian the librarian in the 1962 film The Music Man, with Robert Preston and little Ronny Howard, which is where this comes from. She’ll be 85 on Sunday.
  14. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, “Mexican Shuffle” Some of you might remember this as “The Teaberry Shuffle”, but trumpeter, composer, arranger, songwriter, singer, record producer, record executive, painter, and sculptor Herb Alpert recorded this with the Tijuana Brass for the TJB’s 1964 album South of the Border. Herb turns 84 on Sunday.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for March 25, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: March Birthdays (Part 1)

Patrick, our guest conductor for this month, has given us an easy one this week: Musicians who celebrate a birthday in March. I found this list and started, and had to stop myself at 14 because I kept seeing musicians that I wanted to include. Finally, I said “save some for next week!” Since the playlist is a wee bit long, you might want to click this link and save it for later. Anyway, Happy Birthday to…

  • Harry Belafonte, who celebrated his 92nd birthday on March 1. The song I chose for him is “Jamaica Farewell,” from his 1956 album Calypso. My aunts used to play this one all the time and it about drove me nuts…
  • Larry Carlton, session guitarist extraordinaire who has done some amazing solo albums. He turned 71 on March 2. “Bubble Shuffle” is from his 1989 album On Solid Ground. Larry is known as “Mr. 335,” because his guitar of choice is generally a Gibson ES-335, though he’s playing a Les Paul Studio here.
  • Karen Carpenter, one half of the Carpenters, who would have been 69 on March 2 had bulimia not shortened her life to just under 33 years. “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft” is from their 1977 album Passage. In the words of one commenter, this song proves that Karen Carpenter could sing the phone book and get an emotional response.
  • Arthel “Doc” Watson, who would be 96 on March 3 but who died in 2012. He is a legend in bluegrass, folk, country, blues and gospel guitar, blind since before his first birthday, who could also play the banjo, harmonica, and probably anything else you gave him. I heard Howlin’ Wolf’s version of “Sittin’ On Top Of The World” years ago, but Doc’s is amazing.
  • British blues-rocker Chris Rea‘s celebrated his 68th birthday on March 4. He’s now doing more straight-ahead blues, but he recorded “On The Beach,” in 1986 for the album of the same name. He re-recorded it in 1988 and it reached #9 on the US Adult Contemporary chart. Great song no matter what.
  • The late Andy Gibb‘s would have been 61 on March 5. Sadly, he died just after his 30th birthday in 1988 of natural causes brought on by years of drug and alcohol addiction. “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” was a #1 hit in the US and Canada in 1977.
  • Wes Montgomery died of a heart attack in 1968 when he was just 45, but we celebrated his 96th birthday on March 6. “Bumpin’ On Sunset” is from his 1966 album Tequila, his last album for Verve Records, and features a string section conducted by Claus Ogerman. Wes’ unusual approach to the guitar was particularly conducive to playing octaves, which he does almost all the way through this piece.
  • Micky Dolenz, drummer and sometimes front man for The Monkees as well as a former child actor who starred in the series Circus Boy, turned 74 on March 8. “Randy Scouse Git,” a 1967 composition by Micky that was released under the name “Alternate Title” in the UK because the original title was deemed to be taboo for British audiences (despite the fact that Micky heard it on a British TV show) nonetheless became a #2 hit there. It was also released on the US album Headquarters and is on a number of compilation albums. The late Peter Tork said it was one of his favorite Monkees songs.
  • Mark Lindsay, former lead singer for Paul Revere and The Raiders, turned 77 on March 9. “Arizona” was his greatest solo hit from 1970. Shoulda stayed with The Raiders, Mark… He now lives in Maine.
  • Moving up a little further into March, Jerry Reed would turn 82 on the 20th if he hadn’t died in 2008. A fantastic guitarist (he was honored as a Certified Guitar Player by his buddy Chet Atkins), singer, songwriter and all-around funny guy, Jerry starred in the Smokey and The Bandit movies and provided the music for them, including the song “East Bound and Down,” which reached #2 on the US and Canada country charts in 1977.
  • The incredible Sister Rosetta Tharpe, singer and guitarist who was influential in blues, rock, and gospel, would be 104 the same day as Jerry. “Didn’t It Rain” was recorded live in 1964 in Manchester, England as part of The British Tours of “The American Folk Blues Festival”. I don’t know what the second song is, but it rocks pretty heavy, too.
  • Christian rocker and fantastic guitarist Phil Keaggy turns 68 on March 23. “In The Light of the Common Day” is from his 1991 album Beyond Nature, a collection of instrumental guitar pieces. It’s a great album that I recommend highly.
  • The lovely Chaka Khan, who started with Chicago’s The American Breed, which morphed into Rufus in the ’70’s, shares a birthday with Phil Keaggy. She’ll turn 66 this year. “I Feel For You” is the title track from her 1984 solo LP. A song written and originally done by Prince, it features Stevie Wonder’s harmonica and Grandmaster Melle Mel’s rapping. This song reignited her career, reaching #1 in the UK and on the R&B and Dance charts and #3 on the Hot 100 and was certified gold in the US and UK.
  • Finally, a very, very happy 102nd birthday on Wednesday to Dame Vera Margaret Lynn, DBE, better known as just Vera Lynn, whose version of “The White Cliffs of Dover” was a huge hit with the troops during World War II.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for March 18, 2019.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

It’s My Birthday And I’ll Cry If I Want To #socs

But I don’t want to. It’s my birthday! And Mary and I are going out to lunch, and I get free pie!

We have an O’Charley’s near us, and they were bought out a few years ago by the same company that owns Baker’s Square, so the pie is from Baker’s Square, which bills itself as having “The Best Pie In America.”

Remember the movie Pee Wee’s Big Adventure? Toward the beginning there’s this exchange between Pee Wee and his archnemesis, Francis:

Francis: Today’s my birthday and my father says I can have anything I want.
Pee-wee: Good for you and your father.
Francis: So guess what I want.
Pee-wee: A new brain?

Francis was played by Mark Holton, who’s no relation but he looks like he might be one. You see Mark from time to time; he’s a pretty busy actor. Most notably, he played John Wayne Gacy, a notorious serial killer from the Chicago area.

Anyway, today’s March 25, which in the Catholic Church is The Feast of The Annunciation of the Lord. The feast commemorates the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary to announce that she has found favor with God, who wants her to have his baby. And Mary says “okay!” and nine months later gives birth to Baby Jesus. Okay, that’s a silly (and borderline sacrilegious) telling of the story. The more accurate telling is in the Gospel of St. Luke, chapter 1, verses 26-38. The Angelus, a prayer that tells the story, is based on that Gospel reading. When you hear church bells ring from a Catholic church at 6 AM, noon, 6 PM, and 9 PM, those are the bells that prompt Catholics to say the Angelus. It’s three sets of three bell tolls, followed by nine bell tolls. So, now that you know that, I can tell this Hal Roach joke:

A priest is hearing a man’s confession, and at the end he assigns him the penance of saying three Our Fathers. “I don’t know the Our Father,” the man says. “All right, say three Hail Marys.” The man says “I don’t know the Hail Mary, either.” The priest, exasperated, says, “well, what prayer do you know?” “The Angelus.” “Well then, say the Angelus.” “BONG, BONG, BONG!”

I learned recently that the Church Fathers, when setting dates for various celebrations, were more interested in determining the date of the Annunciation than they were in the date of Christmas. So, the Annunciation isn’t on March 25 because Christmas is on December 25, it’s the other way around.

Anyone born from March 22 through April 22 has a better than average chance of having their birthday fall during Holy Week. I was born on Palm Sunday 1956, Mary was born on Holy Saturday the next year, and Mom was born on Holy Saturday in 1932. Mom’s birthday was on Easter at least twice that I can remember, Mary’s birthday was on Easter at least once, but mine has never been on Easter in my lifetime. In fact, it’s only been after Easter once during my life that I can recall.

Holy Saturday 1932 was March 26, so Mom’s birthday was the day after mine. We used to celebrate them together. In 1994, she was turning 62 and I was turning 38, which meant we were celebrating our joint 100th birthday. Mary and I went to Chicago to celebrate with her. Mom would be 85 tomorrow. Happy birthday, Mom.

Anyway, Mary and I are going to lunch before we go to Mass. They’ll be celebrating the Mass of the Fourth Sunday of Lent, which as you might recall is Laetare Sunday, one of the two days the priest wears pink vestments. I have my pink shirt ready…


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